The University of Alabama turned a $47.7 million profit for the 2015-16 season.
To put that in perspective, only 58 Division I programs generated a revenue over $47.7 million during the 2014-15 season. And as it turns out, that $47.7 million line serves as an adequate line of delineation for the haves and have-nots. Only six programs outside the Power 5 earned more than that in 2015. No Power 5 programs earned less.
For another $7 million, Alabama could support the athletic programs of both of its states Sun Belt representatives, Troy and South Alabama.
It’s a stark reality when we consider just how vast the gap is between the upper echelons of college athletics and even the teams within the same NCAA division. But luckily for college athletics, money isn’t everything. Alabama isn’t even the highest earning program in the country. That distinction, at least for the last few years, has belonged to Texas A&M, which has yet to win a conference championship in a revenue sport. Clemson, the reigning football National Champion, has only generated enough revenue over the last few years to rank in the mid-to-low 30’s. They haven’t even broken $100 million yet. (That will likely change this year.)
Money isn’t everything, but it is a major contributor to program success.
Matthew Monte is Managing Editor of College AD and formerly Co-Managing Editor of Underdog Dynasty. He is a graduate of The B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at UL Lafayette, mostly because it didn't require a foreign language. Matt is also a recovering stand up comedian who occasionally relapses.